China feeling Wrath of the Lich King Aug. 31

Blizzard wins approval to release second World of Warcraft expansion in recalcitrant nation later this month.

A significant portion of World of Warcraft's 11.5 million subscription base resides in China, but Blizzard Entertainment has struggled to get new content to those gamers. After weathering a confrontation between China's General Administration of Press and Publication and the country's Ministry of Culture, Blizzard said in February that it had managed to gain approval to release WOW's first expansion, The Burning Crusade, in China through its local operator NetEase.

The Lich King is pleased.

Now, Blizzard has achieved the same success for WOW's second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. Today, the Irvine, California-based studio and NetEase announced that Wrath of the Lich King will see release in China on August 31.

China's interagency posturing notwithstanding, the official reason for the holdup in the populous nation was concern over violent content in the game. Last year, research firm Pacific Epoch reported that the Chinese government had denied multiple applications to release the game in the nation due to a certain city raid event and skeletons in the game. Blizzard subsequently made changes to the game to comply with China's content requirements.

Even without China, Wrath of the Lich King has been a monumental success for Blizzard. Following its global rollout in November 2008, the game set a record for fastest-selling PC title ever, moving more than 2.8 million units in 24 hours--a record that still stands to this day. Wrath of the Lich King has only just bested the previous title holder, The Burning Crusade, which sold more than 2.4 million units in 24 hours upon its launch in January 2007.

Blizzard is expected to release WOW's third expansion, Cataclysm, later this year. For more on that add-on, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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Discussion

38 comments
clqtte
clqtte

Blizzard just keeps get richer with WOW and SC2 with $60 for 1 game,1 account..awch.....

Bigsteve3570
Bigsteve3570

Finally.... Grats to the chinese, about time. They will have a great time.

victorwang
victorwang

the game has been our for almost two year!

alzeer1
alzeer1

fail old mmo am bored of it

cboyuno
cboyuno

It doesn't ruin lives. It replaces you life with a black hole.

Pete5506
Pete5506

More money made by Blizzard

tommygun6644
tommygun6644

Totalitarianism: Coming to an America near you

monson21502
monson21502

@Unreal-, i bought battle cheat and the linch king pack on the same day. got to level 80 and never played it again. i just dont have time needed to run with my buddies on there. much rather play a console game that i can just shutt it off and stop anytime i want without letting people down. i still got friends asking when im coming back. i cant see how they can get level 80 and full gear with every guy they are allowed to make on our server? this game really sucks the time out of your life. its really clear once you stop playing it.

SirCrimson
SirCrimson

The Chinese should be just as free to waste their lives as Americans.

-Unreal-
-Unreal-

@reeree746 Games ruin lives now? Wait.... Jack Thompson? is that you? how you been man!?

reeree746
reeree746

Looks like World of Warcraft will ruin even more lives.

cjasko94
cjasko94

And Brazil just got the PS3!

CisqoRouter
CisqoRouter

This story isn't about Blizzard specifically, this is more a cultural step forward for China allowing more freedom in distribution of violent content to it's citizens. Any step toward freedom of artistic expression in a previously opressed society is a good thing globally. The more we can open up the untapped market of nearly 1.4 billion people in China, the more that developers can spend on creating good content for us all.

egres122
egres122

Are people in North America able to play with people in other nations? I could check the manual but, meh.

gix47
gix47

grrr..so hoping that WoW would have left China so we could finally get the Pandarens

Animatronic64
Animatronic64

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

tiggerboy
tiggerboy

I wonder if gold site spamming will incline in Northrend now?

q8360
q8360

GS why bother telling us this....

chapnapprogamer
chapnapprogamer

alex ... this game has a huge huge huge game to explore and a lot of things to do ... i think this is enough

Crimsader
Crimsader

They're getting it just now? Sad...

decoy1978
decoy1978

Better late than never.. have fun China!

Im_single
Im_single

Yeah, skeletons riiiiiiight. The Chinese government is trying everything they can to keep WoW out of China but honestly, there are only so many BS excuses they can make.

Alex_09
Alex_09

I don't even understand why people play this stuff. I honestly don't mean to troll but the price just isn't worth the product in my opinion. I think a lot of players are more attached to the community and friends within than the game itself.

infinity_
infinity_

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

AdamWriter
AdamWriter

@RockySquirrel I haven't played WoW in two years, nor have I thought of going back, but I still had to give you a thumbs up for that comment =D

-Unreal-
-Unreal-

Sadly the release in China won't diminish the amount of scamming losers there are. I've not once done a domain name lookup to see the owner of a website imitating Battle.net is and have it come back as anything other than Chinese owned.

Evenios
Evenios

its sad that they had to wait this long to release it in china consideing the game in my opinion isnt that violent at all and any images of skeletons and what are cartoonist at best you think with all of their economy boom and high techness too that china would become less restrictive..! sad they had to wait this long for the game. heh. when catacyslm comes out in China (in 2012 of course) deathwing will be renamed to life-wing and changed to a pink bird.

artax33
artax33

You don't get anything don in China with out bribes. I know some one who tried to do something in China and a gov. office told him that.

RockySquirrel
RockySquirrel

I wonder if they had to bribe anyone... ya know, just some extra loot under the table?

yaba
yaba

I wonder how long it will take them to get Cata over there.

wildcatxzx
wildcatxzx

Does this mean we can act like we want to sell them gold with the real plan being to steal their accounts now too?

nitrouside
nitrouside

Does this mean I can gank level 70 chinese players until the 31st?